Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A composition or structure in radiating form or arrangement, such as a rotating display of fireworks.
  • noun An ornamental branched candleholder, sometimes backed by a mirror.
  • noun An earring that consists of a central piece with three smaller ornaments or stones hanging from it.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A branched lightholder, whether for candles or lamps, whether standing on a foot (see candelabrum) serving as a bracket projecting from the wall. The former is the more common signification in English use.
  • noun A kind of revolving firework; a pyrotechnic revolving sun; also, any revolving jet of similar form or character: as, a girandole of water.
  • noun A piece of jewelry of pendent form, often consisting of a central larger pendant surrounded by smaller ones.
  • noun In fortification, a connection of several mine-chambers for the defense of the place of arms of the covered way.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An ornamental branched candle holder, sometimes with a mirror behind.
  • noun pyrotechnics A type of firework which creates a "whirling top" or "flying saucer" effect.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an ornate candle holder; often with a mirror

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French, from Italian girandola, from girare, to turn, from Late Latin gȳrāre; see gyrate.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French girandole, from Italian girandola, from girare ‘to turn, gyrate’.

Examples

  • By the 18th century "girandole" was being used for a branched candlestick, perhaps due to its resemblance to the firework.

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day

  • Such a pattern is reflected in the word's etymology: "girandole" can be traced back, by way of French and Italian, to the Latin word "gyrus," meaning "gyre" or "a circular or spiral motion or form."

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day

  • The earliest uses of "girandole" in English, in the 17th century, referred to a kind of firework or to something, such as a fountain, with a radiating pattern like that of a firework.

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day

  • The choice furniture is arranged among paintings, girandole mirrors, lamps, porcelain and silver that would once have been prized by the carriage trade knocking on Phyfe's showroom door.

    Furniture for a Young Nation

  • Back to the pasta bentos – penne (actually girandole) with creamy sundried tomato sauce, pine nuts and rucola.

    Bento #132 « Were rabbits

  • On the pans that hung like haloes over the sink and on the winged girandole by the stairs it shone.

    At Swim, Two Boys

  • On the pans that hung like haloes over the sink and on the winged girandole by the stairs it shone.

    At Swim, Two Boys

  • It was tastefully appointed with expensive antiques -- such as an early-nineteenth-century French giltwood barometer, an Italian girandole and a Chinese enamel hanging lantern -- decorative paintings, and plush furnishings.

    Sinatra The Man Behind the Myth

  • A pair of girandole ear-rings of brilliants, each consisting of a large stud brilliant and of three pear-shaped brilliants united by four small ones; another pair of ear-rings composed of fourteen small brilliants forming a clustre of grapes, each stud of a single brilliant.

    Diamonds and Pearls

  • I have seen a set of cut-glass sent to Calcutta for the purpose, or a girandole, too handsome for Brazilian purchasers.

    Journal of a Voyage to Brazil And Residence There During Part of the Years 1821, 1822, 1823

Comments

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  • Poor Sir Philip, as if he had seen the face of Medusa, flew back, and encountered a girandole, which fell to the floor—a girandole no more.

    —Robert Bage, 1796, Hermsprong

    March 22, 2009

  • His brief part should have been droll,

    A gesture, a flourish, a girandole.

    But clownish excess

    From too much success

    Has trapped us now in the Grand Guignol.

    July 4, 2017

  • I wonder if there are other words for water fountain effects.

    July 4, 2017